noun, often attributive
\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a natural luminous body visible in the sky especially at night
b : a self-luminous gaseous spheroidal celestial body of great mass which produces energy by means of nuclear fusion reactions
2a(1) : a planet or a configuration of the planets that is held in astrology to influence one's destiny or fortune usually used in plural
(2) : a waxing or waning fortune or fame her star was rising
b obsolete : destiny
3a : a conventional figure with five or more points that represents a star especially : asterisk
b : an often star-shaped ornament or medal worn as a badge of honor, authority, or rank or as the insignia of an order
c : one of a group of conventional stars used to place something in a scale of value
4 : something resembling a star was hit on the head and saw stars
5a : the principal member of a theatrical or operatic company who usually plays the chief roles
b : a highly publicized theatrical or motion-picture performer
c : an outstandingly talented performer a track star
d : a person who is preeminent in a particular field


starred; starring; stars

Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1a intransitive : to play the most prominent or important role in a movie, play, etc. an actor currently starring in a hit Broadway show She had a starring role in his latest film.
b transitive : to feature (a performer) in the most prominent or important role a movie that stars a famous stage personality
2 intransitive : to perform outstandingly In the fall of 1925, Elkins starred on the gridiron …— Bil Gilbert [Alan] Trammell, who starred for the Tigers at shortstop during the glory days of the 1980s …— Jeff Bradley
3 transitive
a : to mark with a star as being superior or preeminent in some way a monument starred in the guidebook a starred review
b : to mark with an asterisk
4 transitive : to sprinkle or adorn with or as if with stars … meadows starred with buttercups and daisies.— Kenneth Roberts

Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or being a star received star billing
2 : of outstanding excellence : preeminent a star athlete

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Other Words from star


starless \ ˈstär-​ləs How to pronounce starless (audio) \ adjective
starlike \ ˈstär-​ˌlīk How to pronounce starlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for star

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

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Examples of star in a Sentence

Noun They gazed up at the stars. There are billions of stars in the universe. I'm glad we didn't use the tent. It's so much nicer to sleep outside under the stars. The restaurant was awarded four stars for excellence. Critics give the movie three stars. Verb The new television series stars a famous movie actress. a concert starring some of the biggest names in the business He starred in both baseball and football when he was in college. She starred for the basketball team last year. This restaurant is starred in the guidebook. Adjective looking for star actors to play the leads
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Dion Jordan, the former Oregon Ducks’ star and former first-round pick, was with the Las Vegas Raiders during the 2019 season. oregonlive, "New Orleans Saints’ Cameron Jordan pushes for team to sign former Oregon Duck Dion Jordan," 23 Mar. 2020 When these teams met in Denver in October, Gonzaga’s star senior Killian Tillie was on the bench, recovering from knee surgery. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "The 2020 NCAA tournament that could have been: Michigan State bound for Atlanta?," 22 Mar. 2020 To keep herself occupied, the talk show star has been posting more videos on Instagram, including recording phone calls to her famous friends like Jennifer Aniston. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen DeGeneres Just Asked Jennifer Aniston for Self-Isolation Advice," 21 Mar. 2020 If that happens, many Hollywood stars could be at risk of being deprived of expected profits from movies and television shows. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood's Creatives Suffer Blow in Appeal Over Weinstein Co.'s Bankruptcy Sale," 20 Mar. 2020 Moore’s parents were there, but the star was his 13-year-old son, Jerell. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW players and coaches gave fans remarkable moments in a season sadly cut short," 20 Mar. 2020 Growing up out west means that there are always places to hike and the stars are so much brighter. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Uniquely Texas rites of passage for all little Texans," 20 Mar. 2020 But TikTok stars and Hype House members Charli D'Amelio and Chase Hudson (aka Lil Huddy) have actually only been ~official~ for less than two months. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Charli D'Amelio and Lil Huddy's Relationship," 20 Mar. 2020 The two met nearly 10 years ago when the Scandal star was acting on Broadway. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kerry Washington Spills the Actual Reason She Doesn't Talk About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha," 19 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Before becoming nationally ranked high school athletes, Riverdale Country School track stars Tobias Wolfson and Aaron Miller became best friends as pre-kindergartners, while playing touch football on Riverdale’s playground. Lee Hawkins, WSJ, "Coronavirus Forces Bronx High School to Use Remote Training for Spring Teams," 23 Mar. 2020 Of course, there are also plenty of new movies coming to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon at the start of the new season, like Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth and Dangerous Lies with Riverdale's Camila Mendes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "16 Movies You Won’t Want to Miss This Spring," 21 Mar. 2020 Actress Kaley Cuoco is busier than ever, staring in and executive producing her new drama series The Flight Attendant. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Kaley Cuoco's Morning Routine Is Perfect For Anyone Who's Not A Morning Person," 20 Mar. 2020 The event, starring designer Wes Gordon, who created the Fall/Winter 2020 Carolina Herrera Collection, benefits the guild’s free arts education programs for Bay Area youths. Catherine Bigelow,, "San Francisco philanthropy takes a hit as coronavirus shutdown cancels charitable galas," 20 Mar. 2020 What better time for business owners staring down the barrel of pandemic precarity to take on additional debt than right now? Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Left Is Bigger Than Bernie Sanders," 20 Mar. 2020 The series, based on Celeste Ng’s novel and starring Reese Withershpoon and Kerry Washington, is a drama about how the arrival of a stranger throws the idyllic town of Shaker Heights into chaos. cleveland, "15 fun and safe things to do in Cleveland this weekend, the first of the coronavirus crisis," 18 Mar. 2020 Spring break is usually a busy season for the venue, which kicked things off last week with a beach concert starring country artist Riley Green. al, "After big start to spring break, Flora-Bama shuts down," 17 Mar. 2020 With little to do, staff stand in the middle of empty stores, wearing face masks and protective gloves, staring outside through the windows, waiting for someone to come in. Luiz Romero, Quartz, "Stores in Milan are finding creative ways to enforce Italy’s strict coronavirus rules," 11 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Tigers’ ranking slipped with back to back losses at Missouri and Georgia, but Auburn played those games without star freshman wing Isaac Okoro, who returned to the court for Tuesday’s win over Ole Miss. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "What's at stake for Kentucky basketball in a key SEC game against Auburn? A title and more," 28 Feb. 2020 The first album by this all-star female group, consisting of Morris, Brandi Carlile (who co-produced Tucker's album), Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires, was released on Sept. 6, a week after the cut-off for eligibility for this year's Grammys. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Will Miranda Lambert Keep Her ACM Awards Album of the Year Winning Streak Alive?," 11 Feb. 2020 To make matters worse, the film lacked star appeal, at least as far as the studios were concerned. Trilby Beresford, The Hollywood Reporter, "When My Dad Won Best Picture: 'Driving Miss Daisy' Director and Daughter Reflect on the (Still Controversial) Movie, 30 Years Later," 4 Feb. 2020 This is not an official Oscars gift bag, but is sure is extravagantly star-worthy. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "The Unofficial Oscars Gift Bags Are Valued At Six Figures Each," 3 Feb. 2020 Or that a black baseball team, the Chicago American Giants, came to Portland in 1915 to play an all-star city team? oregonlive, "Multnomah County Library users love ebooks, audiobooks; Oregon’s 2020 Pacific Northwest Book Award winner; 2 new books about sports history," 24 Jan. 2020 Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and special teams captain Matthew Slater will all be at the all-star face-off. Claudia Harmata,, "Tom Brady Is Absent from the 2020 Pro Bowl Roster for the First Time in Over a Decade," 18 Dec. 2019 Nicholas HuntGetty Images This week, Friends star Courteney Cox took to Instagram with a hilarious throwback photo. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Courteney Cox Trolls Herself With a Post About a Magazine Interview She Gave in 1998 About Madonna's Style," 17 Aug. 2019 Antetokounmpo noted this is nowhere near as difficult as his rookie season when the Bucks won 15 games – but there are certainly issues to iron out, particularly on offense where Milwaukee has struggled since the all-star break. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Giannis took part in Bucks practice, but his knee must pass one more test before he can play against the Celtics," 11 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'star.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of star


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1592, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for star


Middle English sterre, from Old English steorra; akin to Old High German sterno star, Latin stella, Greek astēr, astron

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Time Traveler for star

Time Traveler

The first known use of star was before the 12th century

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Statistics for star

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Star.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for star


How to pronounce star (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any one of the objects in space that are made of burning gas and that look like points of light in the night sky
: a star or planet especially in a certain position that is believed in astrology to influence people's lives
: something (such as a symbol or medal) with five or more points that represents or suggests a star



English Language Learners Definition of star (Entry 2 of 2)

: to play the most important role in a movie, play, etc.
: to have (someone) as the most important performer
: to perform extremely well


\ ˈstär How to pronounce star (audio) \

Kids Definition of star

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of the heavenly bodies except planets which are visible at night and look like fixed points of light
2 : a figure or object with five or more points that represents or suggests a star in the sky
3 : a very talented or popular performer a movie star
4 : a planet that is believed in astrology to influence someone's life She was born under a lucky star.
5 : the principal member of a theater or opera company


starred; starring

Kids Definition of star (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to mark with a star or an asterisk as being special or very good
2 : to present in the role of a star The show stars my favorite actor.
3 : to play the most important role She will star in a new play.
4 : to perform in an outstanding manner She starred in soccer this season.

Kids Definition of star (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : being favored or very popular the teacher's star pupil a star athlete
2 : being of outstanding excellence a star chef

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More from Merriam-Webster on star

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for star

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with star

Spanish Central: Translation of star

Nglish: Translation of star for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of star for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about star

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